Tue, Mar 18, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Bureaucratic mistake triggers marital discord

AFFAIR?The wife of a man who received a littering fine concluded that he must be cheating on her with the woman in the photographs sent by the county office

By Hsieh Chie-yu and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A blunder by Pingtung County’s Chaochou Township (潮州) office, in which the owners of two license plates were confused and a notification of a fine was issued to the wrong person, has nearly cost a couple their marriage.

Hsiao Chien-tang (蕭建黨), a painter in Nantou City, said he recently received a notice from the Chaochou Township office that asked him to pay a fine for littering.

The notice included pictures of a woman taken from the front, side and back, who was accused of littering on Datong Road in the township’s Baye Borough (八爺).

After seeing the pictures, Hsiao’s wife was furious; incredulous that her husband would drive 210km to Pingtung to dispose of garbage. She accused him of having a mistress.

Hsiao protested his innocence and said to his wife that the woman in the picture was not a patch on her in terms of appearance. His wife remained unconvinced and instead insisted that the woman must be his mistress’ mother.

Hsiao, for his part, was perplexed at the fine, as his scooter’s license plate had been invalidated years ago. Distressed by the marital strife the notice had caused, Hsiao turned to Nantou City Councilor Shih Hsing-kuo (石杏國) for help in clearing up the matter.

Shih not only promised to look into the matter, but also gave his personal assurance to Hsiao’s wife that her husband did not have a mistress in Pingtung.

After much inquiry, the Nantou Motor Vehicles Station found that the Chaochou Township office had made a mistake when inputting the litterbug’s details of the license plate.

Though the numbers on both license plates ended in 542, the letters on Hsiao’s were “WPM” whereas on the mystery woman’s license plate they were “WPW.”

Nantou County Government’s Environmental Protection Bureau suggested that Hsiao either call or file paperwork to get the Chaochou township office to rescind the fines, adding that Hsiao may also seek damages through legal recourse.

Additional reporting by Chiu Chih-jou

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